Thursday, November 30, 2006

The American people don't have what it takes to win in Iraq

Apparently there are people out there who would have you believe that the problem is that "the American people don't have what it takes to win in Iraq". Well, Josh Marshall will have none of that. Quite simply BushCo lied about almost everything and were wrong about the rest. If they had been honest about what they intended, there would not have been anywhere near enough support to get this lead balloon off the ground and the world would have been better off. Yes, hard as it may be to believe, the chaos that BushCo has caused in Iraq makes rational Iraqis conclude that they would have been better off under Saddam.

Josh:

Consider a thought experiment. Let's go back to late 2002 and early 2003. Assume that the build up on the WMD front is more or less as it transpired. But assume, for our counterfactual, that the costs of what we were getting into had been made pretty candidly clear. Half a million troops to secure the place, maybe years of occupation and nation-building. Then you get to early 2003 when it was clear that even if there was some mustard gas hidden away somewhere, that beside those lamo rockets the inspectors found, there really weren't any big WMD programs or stockpiles. Remember, that was clear, before the war started. Once that was clear, and if people knew the costs of what we were getting ourselves into, is there any way the president would have had any support for still going to war, pretty much just for the hell of it?

This is the key. Yes, the American people probably won't support what it takes to make this happen. That's because they make a perfectly rational calculation that so much blood and money for no particular reason just isn't worth it. They're only in this situation because President Bush and his advisors gamed the public into this war on false pretenses knowing that once they were it would be almost impossible to get back out.

Josh again:
I don't like to use such words but I can only think to call the denial and buck-passing sickening. I can't think of another word that captures the gut reaction.

Here's the lede to Mort Kondracke's new column in Roll Call (emphasis added) ...

All over the world, scoundrels are ascendant, rising on a tide of American weakness. It makes for a perilous future.

President Bush bet his presidency — and America’s world leadership — on the war in Iraq. Tragically, it looks as though he bit off more than the American people were willing to chew.

The U.S. is failing in Iraq. Bush’s policy was repudiated by the American people in the last election. And now America’s enemies and rivals are pressing their advantage, including Iran, Syria, the Taliban, Sudan, Russia and Venezuela. We have yet to hear from al-Qaida.

Let's first take note that the 'blame the American people for Bush's screw-ups' meme has definitely hit the big time. It's not Bush who bit off more than he could chew or did something incredibly stupid or screwed things up in a way that defies all imagining. Bush's 'error' here is not realizing in advance that the American people would betray him as he was marching into history. The 'tragedy' is that Bush "bit off more than the American people were willing to chew." That just takes my breath away.

Now come down to the third graf. Bush gets repudiated in the mid-term election ... "And now ..." In standard English the import of this phrasing is pretty clear: it's the repudiation of Bush's tough policies that have led to the international axis of evil states rising against us. Is he serious? The world has gone to hell in a hand basket since the election? In the last three weeks? The whole column is an open war on cause and effect.

This is noxious, risible, fetid thinking. But there it is. That's the story they want to tell. The whole place is rotten down to the very core.

Still more Josh:
Watching the president snap back to his usual state of denial, what I've been thinking about recently is how much of a difference it would have made if the White House had publicly recognized, say back in 2004, that Iraq was on a slow slide toward anarchy and started rethinking things enough to stem the descent to disaster. Let's say early 2005. Earlier the better. But let's give the benefit of the doubt and say it would have been hard to make the course correction in the midst of a presidential election. How much could have been accomplished? How much of this could have been avoided if the White House hadn't continued to pretend, for political reasons, that things were going well? And since the president now seems inclined to continue with his disastrous policy for the next two years, should we ask in advance what could have been avoided over the next two years if he'd only had the courage to confront reality today.

1 Comments:

Blogger liberal journal man said...

America doesn't have the will. They are sooo weak-kneed that they wouldn't fight for their own freedoms if they had to.

Oh wait... ;)

12:36 AM  

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